A Gem of the Order

Disclaimer: I do not own A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, or anything associated with them. I only claim the characters I create.

Chapter 1: Concerning the Realms

School has started once again. Felicity, Ann, and I have returned safely, much to my relief. I finally defeated my mother's best friend turned power hungry murderer, Circe. But our return is not all cheers and smiles. Oh no. We are mourning the loss of our dear friend Pippa. Although we had thought to have her for a while longer in the Realms, it was not so. She ran to the only place she could find protection after I defeated Circe: the Winterlands. Since then, we (Ann, Felicity, and I) have not returned to the Realms. It's much too painful for us to go back yet, but we must soon, as both of them constantly remind me. We are walking down the hall to our rooms, when Fee pulls me aside and shoves me into one of the rare corners. "Felicity what the-" She gives me a stern glare and I quiet down. Ann passes by with one of her new friends and doesn't notice us. She turns back to me and glares. "Next time I do something like, just shut up." My friend still doesn't let me out of the corner. "I'll talk if I wish to. What are you doing this for? If this is about Pip going to the Winterlands I-" She gives me another one of her withering looks. It's a little scary how quickly she can diminish your resolve and your integrity. She has quite a way of cutting people off. "Gemma, I know that there was nothing more that we could do to get her back. There's something else that we have to talk about." This piques my interest somewhat. "The cave where we used to meet when we first came up with the Order, you remember?" Of course I remember. How could I forget reading my mother's diary aloud and learning about Mary, Sarah, and the Order? She continues, "Well, I've been thinking lately, and I think that we should start meeting there again. After all, we have to get back to the Realms and…" Oh goodness here we go again. I roll my eyes and she stops talking. She actually looks offended. Soon, she stalks off and leaves me standing alone.

After Ann and I have said our prayers and gone to bed, I stay awake. I know that we have to get back to stabilize everything, but I don't want to go just yet. Almost every time that we have gone these last few months, something bad or unusual has happened. I need a break from that, and so do my friends. I close my eyes and I fall asleep, only to be wracked with nightmares of what Pippa has become. I wake screaming from my dream, and Felicity is standing over me with Ann. Before I have any time to say anything, they hoist me up, give me a coat, and drag me out the door. I know immediately where we are going. We walk silently, a friend each holding onto one of my arms, perhaps for support or to keep me from changing my mind (even though they already made it up for me). Apparently, Fee has found a way into the cave, as she takes out some of the bricks and we are inside. No one has brought a candle, but they both implore me to enter the Realms, if only for a moment. After some begging I agree.

We close our eyes, hold our hands in a circle, and I concentrate, feeling the magic coursing through me and surging into them. The golden door appears, and there is a collective gasp. Slowly, we all reach toward the door, place our hands on the doorknob, and open it, exposing ourselves to the blinding light.

A.N.: I'm not really sure if I'll continue this, so I need some feedback. This may only be a one shot. R&R